3 “As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?’ 4And Jesus answered them, ‘See that no one leads you astray. 5 For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. 6And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.
9 ‘Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.’
Since Sept. 11, 2001, our nation has had troops deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan and more recently in Syria. In 2011, the “Arab Spring” began to take shape in Egypt, Libya and other countries. Israel seems poised to act preemptively against Iran’s nuclear program, as the entire region goes through a period of intense unrest.
Christians observe this and wonder, “Is Jesus returning soon? Could His promised coming again in Glory be close at hand?”
The answer, of course, is a firm “Yes!” You see, the Holy Christian Church throughout the centuries has confessed that the return of Christ is imminent. The Apostles living in the first century believed the Lord would return for them soon, and yet all of them died without seeing His promised return in glory.
For centuries, the Church has confessed in the Creeds that Jesus will come again in glory to judge both the living and the dead. The challenge for us as believers is that our Lord and Savior does not tell us the “when.” Instead, He simply warns us to be ready.
Lent is a season of “being ready.” It is a time to “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand!” It is a time to confess our sins, receive absolution and lift up our heads, as we see that our redemption is drawing nigh.
Jesus is coming, just as He promised! His arrival is one day closer than it was at this hour yesterday! Be ready! Have your lamps filled with oil! Behold, the bridegroom is approaching!